Most of us know the value and benefit of taking a multivitamin. Today’s food lacks the amount of nutrients our bodies need day in and day out. Supplementing with a multivitamin can obviously help minimize deficiencies we may have. And while a multivitamin should be a staple in almost everyone’s diet, an additional supplement that should be regarded as equally importance is an Omega 3. Omega 3 also known as linolenic acid, is a polyunsaturated fat and is part of the “healthy fat” family. Supplementing with Omega 3 and consuming healthy fats helps improve our cellular function be keeping the cells fluid and more pliable. In contrast, high amounts of saturated fats (animal fats) and trans fatty acids found in processed foods diminishes function by making our cells hard and rigid, Omega 3 consumption can make it easier to balance things out in our body.
Traditionally Omega 3s were taken primarily to help improve cardiovascular health, but recent research has shown that the benefits go well beyond improving heart function. Omega 3 supplementation has been shown to:
- Improve nervous system and boost immune health
- Increase fat metabolism and improve weight loss
- Decrease risk of diabetes and certain cancers
- Improve blood pressure
- Improve function for those with inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
- Aid in workout recovery
- Improve mood and decrease symptoms of depression.
- Improve airway dilation
You can see why many doctors, therapists, and nutritional experts are so fond of Omega 3s. While many fatty acids can be synthesized by our own body, Omega 3 must be obtained through diet and supplementation. Foods high in Omega 3 include; walnuts, hemp seeds, fish (wild salmon, light tuna, shrimp, etc.), chia seeds, flax (Ground or Oil), soy nuts, olive oil. Try to add at least ½ -1 serving to each meal/snack throughout the day. In addition to food, it is recommended to take a daily Omega 3 supplement as well. The minimum recommended daily amount is generally 2-3g per day in either liquid or capsule form. However, research has shown as high as 9-10g/day may be recommended in certain cases. Consult with your physician to determine the correct dosage for you and start reaping the benefits of this super supplement!
“The Essentials of Sports and Exercise Nutrition, 2nd Edition – John Berardi, PhD; Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD